For every tourist travelling to a new destination, shopping for souvenirs and keepsakes can serve as a way to preserve the experiences and memories of that trip. Shopping in a country like Vietnam provides tourists with a lot of exciting choices at very affordable prices.
Travellers with a very strict budget can still enjoy the thrills of shopping while in Vietnam as prices can be bargained (let’s face it, bargaining is part of the purchase) to a less than a third of the original price. Shopping is just interesting.
The shopping markets in the country provide the tourist with access to an endless array of bespoke garments tailored to suit each person’s style and requirements. The quality and variations of clothing materials that can be gotten in Vietnam are endless especially the national dress of Vietnam, the “Ao Dai” gotten from high-quality silk can as well be acquired.
While everyone needs to shop for new materials to sew their clothes, the local handicraft, art, and jewellery in the Vietnamese markets are exquisitely stunning and can be used to for very stylish home decorations or strike a pose during a gala.
There are quite a large number of markets that can appeal to any traveller and fulfil their memory-storing needs, some of which are;
- Ben Thanh Market:
The Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon) is usually the best location for any tourist seeking an awesome collection of locally made handicrafts, branded goods, art and other items. Like any other market around, the Ben Thanh market is very large with the smell of freshly cooked wok-fried noodles, barbecued fish, and meat filling the air as the restaurants open up in the night. The atmosphere is rich with exciting stories of the Vietnamese culture.
If you are looking to stock up on lacquer wares, bamboo goods, arts, and crafts; the early morning market is the best time for you to be on the streets of the Ben Thanh Market and get all the best bargain prices on every item. Although you might want to be prepared for the items with a fixed price, those come with a sort of permanent price tag.
- Saigon Square Shopping Mall:
What can’t you get at Saigon Square Mall? Shirts, shoes, handbags, swimwear, jewellery, textile, accessories and every other fashion item! If you are looking for a drastic continental wardrobe improvement, the Saigon Square Shopping Mall is your best bet. Although the price tags are a bit inflated, that’s the beauty of it; bargaining is allowed, never just accept the opening bid.
You might find some kind of confusion with the haphazard arrangement of the mall, but it gives you room to just stroll around till something you fancy catches your eyes.
So, yes! For every clothing souvenir or gift, the two-levelled building of the Saigon Square Shopping Mall should be on your list of places to visit.
- Hang Gai Street (Silk Street):
Everyone knows that silk materials are elegant and gives the wearer a very refined look, plus the colours of the silk materials are so bright and exciting that you just have to have one or two or maybe six materials in your collection.
The 300-meter-long street is filled with boutiques, tailors, fashion and household stores with some stores providing tourists with the opportunity to buy ready-to-wear attires.
This market is located near the NhaTrang Port, so you would expect the display of seafood as you come in the market. The display of fresh seafood, meat, and vegetables is truly a sight for tourists who fancy trying out new cuisines and cooking on their own. There are also a few snacks like the Bun Cha Sua (rice vermicelli, jellyfish, and steamed sailfish fillet in fish broth), Ban Xeo (Vietnamese pancakes), and BemNuong (grilled fermented pork roll) available in case you get hungry. In case, you are not much of a chef (no one is judging you), there are quite a number of seafood restaurants to satisfy your food needs.
- A Dong Market (Craft Market):
The awesome fact about shopping in Vietnam is that you can never run of shops to buy clothes and crafts. Every street, the market is riddled with stalls and shops selling a wide variety of items to fit your needs and budget.
The An Dong Market is no exception, famous for its handicrafts and skilled artisans; you can experience firsthand the proud heritage of Vietnam as they work on the lacquer wares and woodwork.
Jewellery made from gemstones like amethyst and jade are usually the appeal of the eyes as tourist move through the An Dong Market, plus the authenticity of these handcrafted designs are always spectacular.
Food is also relatively cheap in this market where you can always get MiQuang (turmeric noodles) at any time of the day. And as always with most markets in Vietnam, bargaining is allowed.